Virtual Farm Tour: Jauquet’s Hillview Dairy LLC
The team at Jauquet’s Hillvew Dairy LLC knows what it takes to raise healthy calves. That’s why Stacy Jauquet works alongside her calf team to train them on her expectations for excellent calf care.
“If I can do it, my employees can do it,” she said, “and I take pride in working alongside our team.”
She and her husband, Dave, own and operate the farm in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. They milk 600 registered Holsteins and raise all young calves onsite. Heifers leave the farm between 4 and 5 months of age and return two months prior to calving.
Throughout the week, 10 different people, including herdsmen and milkers, work in the maternity area, so Jauquet said it’s essential to have clearly defined protocols for newborn calf care. They hold monthly employee meetings with a translator, and calf care is discussed at every meeting.
Calves are fed 4 quarts of maternal colostrum within the first hour of life. It is tested with a clostrometer or Brix refractometer; if it’s not of high enough quality, calves receive Secure 175 as a replacement. Colostrum is fed via nipple bottle unless the calf won’t drink. To monitor the colostrum program, Jauquet tests the serum total proteins of every calf between 3 and 5 days old. The team also records all calf care done in the maternity.
Newborns stay in individual hutches in the maternity area until they are dry, then they are moved to an outdoor hutch. Everything is sanitized between calves.
Calves are fed pasteurized milk twice a day. Jauquet regularly uses an ATP meter to monitor the cleanliness of the pasteurizer and feeding equipment. Prior to each feeding, all equipment is sanitized with Oxymer™. Milk is fortified with Calf Magnify and a probiotic. Newborns receive 6 pints per feeding. Starting at day three, Jauquet introduces a free-choice starter grain. At 20 days, they are fed 8 pints and ramped up to 10 pints by 30 days.
Weaning is a two-week process for Jauquet. At day 56, the milk volume is cut in half at each feeding for one week. Calves receive only one feeding during the second week. They continue to receive water and grain only in the hutch for one week before moving to a group pen, where they will also receive the same starter grain.
Make it easy
Jauquet believes in having the right tool in the right place at all times. Every piece of calf equipment has its own brush for cleaning. She keeps a box of latex gloves on the feeding cart so employees can put on a new pair after each bottle or row of calves. She likes to use plastic zipper bags to divide things like electrolyte powder into serving sizes so a dirty scoop doesn’t go back into the pail. Jauquet and the team walk calves and check cleanliness of feeding equipment several times throughout the day to ensure protocols are followed for the best calf care.
Jauquet said these small tasks really are part of her responsibilities as a manager because “we’re the ones who do the quality control.”
She also explained that she constantly thinks about what comes next for each calf in terms of weather, pen moves, feedings, etc. She works with her team to help them think the same way so they have the right tools and are prepared to efficiently handle the next task.
Jauquet said her goal is to eliminate human error as much as possible, which requires a solid way to communicate. A whiteboard, note pages, and team meetings all help the farm team communicate, define protocols, and keep each other in check to raise healthy calves.
Starting Strong - Calf Care